I am happy to announce that on this GLORIOUS spring Saturday I have enjoyed two of the most amazing things ever:
1) A hike through the woods of New England (which are the best kind of woods in the world and don’t you dare try and argue)
2) A pre-hike breakfast of these Banana Chia Seed Pancakes:
These ain’t your grandmother’s pancakes. They are so much more. They are delicious, light, and fluffy, as pancakes should be. However, they are also super healthy made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with honey instead of refined sugar, with the awesomeness of bananas and chia seeds added to the mix. The mix of nutrient-packed ingredients make this an energy-boosting breakfast that will satisfy you for hours and won’t make you feel like going back to bed immediately after eating them!
So, if you are like Zach and me, you can do things like go on a wilderness adventure after eating them. We had a lovely hike through Lynn Woods Reservation in Lynn, Massachusetts and felt super energized from our pancake breakfast.
The most important thing to making pancakes with whole grain flour: they will have a greater tendency to be dense and heavy. It is very important that when you combine the wet and dry ingredients that you fold the batter carefully and only just incorporate the ingredients, without over-mixing. In addition, when you add them to the skillet to cook, use a spatula or wooden spoon to spread out the batter to make the pancakes thinner. This will ensure that they will be fully cooked on the inside while not burning on the outside. Also, try not to mix the bananas too much into the batter. I try and leave chunks of banana, which makes bites that taste REALLY good and helps keep the pancakes fluffy.
Whenever I have bananas get too ripe to eat, or I know I am not going to get through all of them, I freeze them to use in recipes like this that require mashed banana. Just pop them directly in the freezer in the peel. When you are ready to use them, microwave for about 30 seconds, peel, and add directly to your batter. They will be brown on the outside and the inside will be mushy, but they will be the perfect sweetness and consistency for your baked goods!
I recommend serving these pancakes
in a pool with a moderate amount of maple syrup, topped with fresh bananas and almonds, or other fresh fruit.
Have leftovers? These pancakes can be frozen for later! I separated mine with small sheets of parchment paper and put them in a freezer bag. That way when I want one (or seven), I can take them out individually and microwave to enjoy a delicious, healthy, and fast breakfast. Or dinner, for that matter!
Banana Chia Seed Pancakes (no refined flour or sugar!)
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour or spelt flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons melted butter plus more for frying pancakes.
- 2 mashed bananas
- Maple syrup, fresh fruit, almonds, or other fixings for serving (optional)
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together butter, honey, milk, yogurt, egg, vanilla extract, and chia seeds. Set aside for approximately 5 minutes (the chia seeds will begin to start absorbing liquid during this time to make them a little softer).
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- After 5 minutes are done, slowly add the wet ingredients to dry, folding in as you go, until just incorporated (do not over-mix, or the pancakes will be tough and dense!)
- Fold in mashed bananas.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot. Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in it, and spoon approximately 1/4 cup of batter into skillet for each pancake. Because the batter is a bit more dense than traditional pancakes, I recommend using a wooden spoon or spatula to smooth out the top to create a thinner pancake. This will ensure that it cooks the whole way through without burning the outside.
- When edges begin to look cooked, use a large spatula to flip the pancake quickly.
- After only a minute or so, the pancake should be cooked. Remove cooked pancakes to a plate and continue cooking in batches until the batter is gone, using 1/2 tablespoon more of butter to fry each batch.
- Top with maple syrup and fixings, and enjoy!